Sammy Sampson

It’s been a month since Sammy suddenly passed away from an aneurysm.

He was stolen so quickly from us, it came as a complete shock. He had been playing and chasing his toys that afternoon and when he laid down I thought he was simply enjoying the sun. Tallie let me know that something was wrong and he passed away in my arms that evening.

I am distraught and yet I know that as much as he liked Tallie and enjoyed playing with her, he was never the same after Zeus passed away. He loved Zeus and missed him so so much. Zeus was his feather, Sammy could always be brave and big when Zeus was around. After Zeus passed, he was inconsolable. Tallie’s friendship brought back moments of the old Sammy but he never really recovered from his loss.

I am grateful that his suffering wasn’t long. That he had no lingering illness. That his last day was spent playing and tossing toys around and generally making a big mess. That he was able in his last moment to know I was there and give me one last doggy kiss.

When I look at this photo, it makes me smile every time. He was so joyful and charming and stubborn and funny. And that smile. I loved that smile.

I know in my heart that in his last moments, he was at peace and that gives me peace.

But I miss him so much.

Sammy Smile

My eternal gratitude to the staff of our local Animal Emergency Hospital. They were indescribably caring, kind and honest on a horribly difficult day.

Return of the eagles.

The eagles are back!

I live in an area where bald eagles flock to breed. They come back every year in the hundreds.

I haven’t been taking too many photos as my camera’s shutter seems to be wearing out but I did take these while I was walking Sampson. This one seemed very interested in Sampson.

This one did too. His claws are in such sharp focus.

I was playing with some white ink on black paper. The paper seemed a bit soft, it wanted to absorb and absorb which ended up working in my favor, I was able to put many layers. Now in my first eagle here which is about 5×7, I went a little too crazy with my top layer and lost some of the shading.

This one is better. I would have continued down the shoulders but it ended up in a card frame for a friend who likes eagles. The one thing I love about ink, is that it tends to look complicated but it’s all just little dots and lines. Pretty relaxing to do.

I used a dip pen with a G nib on it. I buy the ones that are marketed towards anime online. They flow well and you can make thick or thin lines depending on how much pressure you use.

Since I mentioned Sampson, here’s a quick one of him in white ink on card stock.

I also did a squirrel in the white and grey ink who looks a bit of a know it all.

I did a polar bear too but had to weigh down the paper afterwards as it buckled. He looks like he’s fretting, given that the icecaps are melting fast, I can’t say I blame him.

If you have questions, please ask in the comments.

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2020

Zinnia Madness

And wouldn’t that be a great band name..

I love to plant zinnias. They’re beautiful, they’re easy and best of all they attract these beauties.

A white garden butterfly, some call it a cabbage butterfly. They are so fast!

Another speedy one, a Silver Spotted skipper which is a pretty fancy and deceptive name. I would say that that spot is white but who am I to rain on someone’s parade.

Another kind of skipper, it’s either a Sachem Skipper or a Zabulon Skipper, I don’t know enough about them to tell the difference but both are super fast and surprisingly cuddly looking.

My, what big eyes you have…

An American Lady Butterfly, what a beauty. She’s a subtle one but stunning nevertheless.

It was a big difficult to take a photo of this Red Spotted Purple Admiral. As you can see her wing is damaged and she was quite rightly spooked. They mimic the Pipevine Swallowtail which are poisonous but someone grabbed her. She still flew quite well though.

This is not on a zinnia, this is a hummingbird hawk moth on a lilac. The colors on this one were so cool and again very cuddly looking. Maybe that is why they are all so fast, everyone would hug them to bits if they could catch them.

This one is not for hugging, they can bite when annoyed. She’s also not on a zinnia but such a beautiful color and she looks so wise, I think that’s known as the Jiminy Cricket effect.

Green Katydid.

Please don’t spray!  And please watch out for caterpillars and worms, many of the creepiest and ugly turn into these beauties.

 

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art by the Foot Project

We are still reeling from the unexpected loss of Zeus. We have lost family, friends and pets before as many of you have but this loss was such a shock. We still find ourselves reeling from it. We all miss him terribly.

Poor Sampson is of course devastated. They hadn’t been apart in over ten years. We know it will take him some time to adjust but for now we are taking extra care with him, the poor guy.

I did this acrylic of Zeus, it’s a foot square and will be on display at the Figge Museum in Davenport as part of a community art project.

This piece is also on display. It is again on a one foot foam square. The museum gave each artist two to paint on. This is a mixed media piece with acrylic, a linoprint and pen drawing.  It is the lino print of the north wind but reversed from the one I showed you in a prior post. I added it to a stormy acrylic sky with a pen and ink drawing of the man that the Sun and North Wind were toying with.

I did it at the last minute over another painting so I hope that it holds up on display. I’m a bit nervous about it.

If you’re in the Quad Cities area,  The Art by the Foot exhibit is open and it displays art made by artists of all ages and abilities from the Quad-City area. The works were collected this spring and were required to be made on boards provided by the Figge. All of the works will be on view in the Mary Waterman Gildehaus Community Gallery from June 20th to September 1st.

I have to say, I love this idea and I thought it so clever of the museum to give artists this chance. I also love that it ranges from professionals to small children. That sort of encouragement is priceless!

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

Groundhog

This is a 6×4 pencil crayon drawing on pastel paper.

Now if you’re wondering what pencil crayons are, they are what Americans called coloured pencils. Even though I’ve lived in the States for many years and sometimes use color instead of colour, and I almost never say toque and I  rarely drink a mickey or two-four… sure rarely sounds about right…anyway I can’t give up my pencil crayon terminology ..

Anyway here’s a grumpy groundhog. Not sure what he’s grumpy about unless he’s an American groundhog and would have preferred to be done with colored pencils. Sorry buddy..not in this house!

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2019

December Acrylics

These are some cards I made for a trade. They are all acrylic and in various card sizes, all smaller than 5×6. The first five were done with palette knives, some have a bit of brushwork.

It’s a challenge to use a knife on small pictures but it is entertaining.

This deer makes me laugh, he looked rather affronted at being painted.

“Deer Interrupted”

painting acrylic deer

“The Tree and the Icy River”

“Red and Gold Berry Christmas Tree”

“Snowy Path and Tree”

Palette leftovers.

The following are brushwork.

“A Small Fir”

“The Birches”

“Under a Purple Sky”

“The Firs”

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2018

Odds and Ends of the year.

This is a horse with tattoos, everyone has them now.

Ink and marker, 8×10 inches.

This is a lino print with Brusho (a watercolor product). 5×7 inches.

A quick drawing of a guy named Steve.

A cat that I embroidered on my apron because I like to be fancy when I’m cooking. This design is an original and is about 5×7 inches.

A photograph of a shadow from a lamp that looks like the Eiffel Tower.

A sepia self portrait, titled “Closer than she appears.”

The Chicago Waterfront.

And the Wells Fargo Bank reflected in the windows of the Figge Museum in Davenport, Iowa. My favourite painting ” Blue Horse” by Marc Chagall lives at the Figge.

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

Sampson the Dirty Dog

Sammy recently had surgery on a tumor on his tush.  Unfortunately it was malignant but fortunately they were able to remove it with a clean margin.  We will be keeping a close eye on him and hoping for the best.

In the mean time, Sammy is supposed to be staying dry, clean and being a respectable puppy dog while he’s healing.

So of course he did this.

Yup, in the middle of a drought, within minutes of being let out, he found the only bit of mud for miles.

And he’s not sorry at all!

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2018